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THQ Gamers Day - Saints Row 2

Posted by: Chuck at 4/4/2008 8:00 PM
“Did you know you can juggle them?” This question was asked by one of the Volition developers while I was checking out the game and this was in reference to how you could use the game’s satchel charges to catapult characters into the air. It turns out that by attaching multiple satchel charges and detonating them in sequence I could get significant air time with some of the locals. This turned out to be much more fun than just sticking them with one charge and then watching them flail about trying to remove the charge. I have to admit there I had some perverse fun in attaching satchel charge to a victim and then watching them stumble over near a crowd of people or near a propane tank and then detonating the charge. This was a just a bit more fun than walking around shooting guys in the their tender bits and watching them grip what’s left of their manhood while they died.

Make no bones about it Saints Row 2 is a bigger, bolder version of the previous game and the developers at Volition have cranked the knob all the way to 11 for the sequel. Not only are there more customization options for your character (including custom taunts and compliments) but there are more customizations for your crib. I mean who doesn’t want to deck their house out with a 50” Plasma TV in one corner and a gold plated stripper pole in the other? The game revels in its tawdriness and fans of the first game are going to find a lot to love with this sequel. 

In addition to all the customization goodness there’s the ability to take human shields for those times when you can’t find adequate cover (you can then toss the shield at your attackers if you run out of ammo). There are all kinds of new vehicles including helicopters. I’m not sure how gangsters are able to get their hands on military hardware but it is fun flying overhead and blowing stuff up from the air.

Another nice feature of the sequel is that you’re no longer riding solo and can blow stuff up with a friend in the new co-op mode. I didn’t get a chance to try this out in person but all of the missions support co-op so you and a friend can rule the streets together.

What works:

- Satchel charges are a ton of fun to play with
- The game builds on the strengths of its predecessor
- Amazingly deep customization engine. Nothing like being able to customize how you taunt others in the game
 - New zoom mode allows for more accurate shooting, allowing you to shoot guys in the nuts with greater frequency.

What doesn’t:
- We saw a pre-alpha version of the game and the graphics need a bit more polish to get up to snuff
- Some of the aiming was a bit off to me but that should be tweaked before the final version of the game
- It’s coming out the same year as Grand Theft Auto IV and while the game has a different feel it’s still standing in a very long shadow